Diabetes Forecast

What Is a Glucagon Kit?

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glucagon kit

There may be times when you’re unable to use glucose tablets, liquids, and gels to treat low blood glucose. For instance, severe hypoglycemia can make it difficult to swallow oral glucose products. It can also lead to unconsciousness, which experts say should never be treated with food or drink. In these situations, a glucagon kit is the best way to bring your blood glucose back to normal.

These kits store glucagon—a hormone that raises blood glucose levels—in a vial of powder and include a syringe preloaded with sterile water or another diluting solution. The two substances are mixed together, then injected under the skin. “We like to cross-train a family member or two so that someone besides the patient knows how to administer glucagon,” says Craig Williams, PharmD, clinical professor of pharmacy at the Oregon Health and Science University Medical Center. “If the time comes when it is truly needed, patients may be too severely affected to be able to administer the shot to themselves.” Learn more about administering glucagon.

If you use insulin or other medications that can cause low blood glucose, it’s a good idea to keep a glucagon kit with you. Williams also suggests stashing a second kit at work or in your car for extra security. Make sure your family, friends, and coworkers know how to use it in case of emergency. Confirm that you have an active prescription for glucagon. Before buying a glucagon kit, check the expiration date—it should have at least a year of shelf life remaining.

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